Internal Governing Policies
#129 - Use of Technology Resources by Employees
Approved: December 3, 2012
Monitor: Vice President for Business Affairs
University computing facilities, equipment, and services are provided for the instructional, research, and administrative computing and information technology needs of the university. University technology resources include, but are not limited to, network and internet access, file storage, computers, email systems, and telephone systems.
Users of University technology resources are expected to utilize good judgment and reasonable care to protect the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of all networks, computers, equipment, data and software owned, leased, or made available by the University.
The University recognizes the following standards of acceptable use and expects each individual in the university community to abide by the following:
- Each individual shall use only those specific technology resources for which they have both authorized access and a need to use. In addition, such use is to be only in the prescribed manner for which the individual is authorized and must be consistent with intended purpose of that specific resource.
- Each individual shall use university technology resources in accordance with all university policies as well as federal, state, and local laws. Each individual shall respect university, departmental, and individual contract and licensing agreements.
- Each individual shall respect the copyright, trademark, and intellectual property rights of others and shall only use copyrighted material in a manner allowed by the copyright.
- Each individual shall respect the personal rights and privacy of other members of the university community.
- Each individual shall refrain from willful damage or destruction of technology resources and refrain from using technology resources to commit harassment, forgery, or fraudulent activities.
While the University provides technology resources to the campus community to support the university mission, it is understood that, as a convenience to the community, the University allows limited incidental uses of such resources. Limitations on incidental use include:
- Incidental use must comply with university policies, procedures, and guidelines and must not violate any federal, state, or local laws or regulations.
- Incidental use must not include any prohibited political activity or other activities prohibited under the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (5 ILCS 430/).
- Incidental use must not adversely impact normal technology operations, reduce the overall efficiency of university technology resources, or result in additional charges to the University.
- Incidental use must not negatively influence an individual's job performance at the University.Incidental use must not falsely represent that an individual is representing or acting on behalf of the University.
- Incidental use may result in the creation, transmission, and/or storage of information and/or files that may be subject to various state and federal regulations, including Freedom of Information Act requests. Such information and files include, but are not limited to, email messages, documents, pictures, and other personal data.
Any use of university computing facilities, equipment, or service is improper if such use:
- Is unrelated to instructional, research, or administrative computing and information technology needs and does not fall under incidental use guidelines.
- Violates any university policy or any local, state or federal law.
- Is pornographic, obscene, or defamatory and is not integral to academic research.
- Intentionally interferes with another person's instructional, research, or administrative computing and information technology activities.
- Violates another person's intellectual property rights.
- Results in commercial gain or private profit (other than that allowable under university intellectual property policies).
Instances of improper use may be investigated. For such investigations, the University reserves the right to access private information, including the contents of files and mailboxes, while making every effort to maintain privacy. Investigations that discover improper use may result in:
- Limitations on access to the University's technology resources;
- Referral of flagrant abuses to deans, department heads, the responsible vice president, the university police, or other authorities for appropriate action;
- Disclosure of private information to university authorities.
Users who violate this policy may have their technology access terminated and may be subject to disciplinary action by the University in accordance with appropriate policies or judicial affairs procedures.
The University will make every effort to respect individual privacy, but the University cannot grant or promise an expectation of privacy to individuals utilizing university technology and information resources. The University reserves the right to access university computer systems and resources for security or maintenance purposes, with the understanding that individual accounts will be accessed only when necessary. Users should also be aware that systems may be breached internally or externally by persons utilizing malicious software or by other means. The University may also be required to respond to external requests for access to computer systems, including email accounts, pursuant to a valid subpoena, Freedom of Information Act request, or a valid request from a state or federal agency.